Cpl. Albert N. Shumard
Photo courtesy of Samantha Parish
The gentleman whose name heads this personal history has spent many years in building up a name and home, and probably no one is better known among the old settlers of western Nebraska than he. For the past thirty years he has been closely identified with the upbuilding of the best interests of his locality, and is now living a quiet and retired life in Scandinavian township, where he has a beautiful home surrounded by all the comforts of a peaceful rural community.
Mr. Shumard is a native of Clermont county, Ohio, born in 1845. He is a son of Thomas Shumard, whose father, also Thomas Shumard, was one of the first settlers in the city of Cincinnati. He came from New Jersey, coming in a flat boat down the Ohio river, settling in Hamilton county, where his family was raised. Our subject's mother was Miss Mary Knott, daughter of John Knott, also of that county. Mr. Shumard grew up there, and in 1861 enlisted in Company G, Forty-eighth Ohio Regiment, and served during the entire war, receiving his discharge in June, 1866. He was with the Army of the Tennessee for over three years, and afterward at Tyler, Texas, as a prisoner. He fought at the battles of Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, and at the first battle, siege and capture of Corinth, Holly Springs, Memphis, Arkansas Post and Post Gipson, all through the campaign and siege of Vicksburg, and afterward in the Red river campaign with Banks. He also took part in the Cross Roads campaign and was captured by the rebels at that battle, but saved the flag, which was the only case on record of a prisoner's concealing the union colors and brought them back to his regiment. This flag is now at the state house, at Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Shumard was only sixteen years of age when he enlisted, and during his many battles received more than one wound, but he has a brilliant record as a brave soldier. He was at Fort Blakely on the day of Johnson's surrender to General Sherman.
In 1879 Mr. Shumard came to Nebraska, homesteading one hundred and sixty acres on section 24, Scandinavian township, Harlan county, and has resided on this place ever since. His first dwelling was a dugout, in which he lived for six years, and at the end of that time erected a comfortable farm house and has always been engaged in mixed farming here.
In 1883 our subject was united in marriage to Miss Mary Beam. She is a daughter of William Beam, whose father, John Beam, was one of the oldest settlers at Cincinnati, Ohio, coming there very early from Pennsylvania. Mrs. Shumard's mother was Ellen Robinson, from Kentucky. Mr. and Mrs. Shumard are the parents of one child, Raymond, aged eighteen years, living at home.
Mr. Shumard is a man of active traits and broad mind. He has been a splendid local and county official, faithful in all things. He is clean-cut, straightforward and vigilant, and a splendid type of farmer and public official. He is one of the organizers and secretary and manager of the Wilcox and Ragan Telephone Company. He has served on the school board as secretary ever since 1880, and was town clerk and justice of the peace. He was elected county supervisor in 1895 and has served for twelve years continuously. He was appointed postmaster in 1907 by President Roosevelt. He is an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic post at Huntley, Nebraska, and is a prominent Mason and Workman. He also acts as class leader of the local Methodist Episcopal church, and has carried on this work for the past twenty years. Politically, he has always been a Republican.
It seems likely that Shumard did indeed assist in the rescue the 48th Ohio's regimental colors at the battle of Sabine Crossroads. According to the Regimental History:
"When we were captured, our color-bearer, Isaac Scott, tore the regimental flag from the staff, and gave it to his mess-mate, to conceal in his haversack. He was left sick on the way to prison, and did not arrive for some time after, but through all his sickness he clung to the flag, and upon arriving at Camp Ford, delivered it to the officers of the Regiment for safe keeping."
Shumard was one of the color guard at the assult on Vicksburg:
"Those brave fellows, the color-guard, who were in the charge on the enemy in the rear of Vicksburg on May 22, ought to be remembered and held up as true heroes by the brave and true. Their names are David L. Vore, Company E, Color Sergeant; Isaac H. Carmin [Carmen], corporal Company A; Isaac Scott, corporal Company B; Metcalf Bell, corporal Company F; Jesse Ellis, private Company D; Allan Pierce, corporal Company D; Albert N. Shumard, corporal Company G; James D. Wolf, private Company K."
The list of prisoners in Camp Ford includes Isaac Scott and "Sherrard, Albert N.", corporal, Co. G
One of the accounts about the flag says that Scott threw it down and "an old man" picked it up and put it in his haversack. However, Shumard was only 19 when he enlisted.
For more about the incident, see A Flag in Prison elsewhere on this site.